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Schools and Colleges with Bail Bonding Programs: How to Choose

Bail bond agents write agreements that pledge money for criminal defendants to be released from jail before trial and that guarantee the defendant's appearance in court. Many accredited colleges across the U.S. offer bail bond training programs, but private, non-accredited companies also offer training and certificate programs.

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Bond agents are typically regulated by a state's department of insurance, which requires training, work experience and licensure of all individuals employed in the field. Several states require bond agents to have a year or more of experience working in a bail bond company prior to being eligible for a licensure examination. For this reason, work experience requirements should be fulfilled prior to beginning a training program.

Programs with Bail Bond Agent Training Programs

Take into consideration the following sample of schools with bail bond agent training programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Program Level Program Cost (2015-2016)*
Hillsborough Community College Tampa, Florida 2-year, Public Training Course $382 (In-state only)
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 4-year, Public Training Course $375
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 4-year, Public Training Course $425
Miami Dade College Miami, Florida 4-year, Public Certificate $364
Howard College Big Spring, Texas 2-year, Public Training Course $260
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno, Nevada 2-year, Public Training Course $235
Central Virginia Community College Lynchburg, Virginia 2-year, Public Training Course $550

Source: *School Websites

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School Selection Criteria

It's important to weigh the options that different schools offer when choosing your bail bond program. Take into account the following considerations for aspiring bail bond agents:

  • Students should first determine whether a school's program conforms to state licensure guidelines. Each state has different requirements, and most require bond agents to sit for an examination.
  • If your school offers a program that does not entirely comply with state requirements, make sure it has relationships with other schools that will allow you to take any additional required coursework elsewhere.
  • Find out whether a program trains bail bond agents or bail enforcement agents. The two are different positions with unique training and licensure requirements.
  • Students should also consider a program's length and schedule. Some programs are offered on evenings and weekends, with some class components taken at home or online.

Bail Bond Agent Training and Certificate Programs Overview

Private training companies often award a certificate of completion to graduates of the bond agent program, but these certificates are not the equivalent of completing college course credit hours. Program length can be extended if a student is required to complete at-home coursework or instruction not included in the program, such as firearms training. Program instruction generally includes legal and liability issues, safety, history of the field, handcuffing and gun training.

Bail bonding training, which can be offered as a certificate program or stand-alone course, is available through private companies and accredited colleges or universities. The most important element of bail bond agent training is that it complies with the experience and training requirements of your state.

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